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Brazilian football legend Pelé being treated for a respiratory infection, but in stable condition at hospital

<i>Pavel Golovkin/AP</i><br/>Pelé was awarded FIFA Football Player of the Century as the greatest player of the 20th century.
AP
Pavel Golovkin/AP
Pelé was awarded FIFA Football Player of the Century as the greatest player of the 20th century.

By Stefano Pozzebon and Julia Jones, CNN

Brazilian football legend Pelé is being treated for a “respiratory infection,” according to a statement by the Albert Einstein Jewish Hospital in São Paulo on Friday.

The 82-year-old is in “stable condition” and responding well to the treatment with antibiotics, but will remain in hospital to continue treatment in the coming days, the statement added.

Pelé was admitted to the hospital for a “re-evaluation of the chemotherapy treatment over the colon cancer identified in September 2021,” the hospital said in an earlier statement on Wednesday.

When news broke that the three-time World Cup winner was in the hospital, his daughter Kely Nascimento took to Instagram to reassure the public.

“There is no emergency or new dire prediction. I will be there for New Years and promise to post some pictures,” she said.

“Really and truly, we appreciate the concern and love!!”

On Thursday, Pelé also took to the social media platform to confirm his reasons for being hospitalized: “Friends, I am at the hospital making my monthly visit,” the post said.

Brazil fans who were attending the nation’s final group stage match at the World Cup — a surprising 1-0 loss to Cameroon — unveiled two enormous banners in tribute of the country’s greatest ever player.

In his Instagram post, Pelé showed his gratitude for the well-wishers, sharing an image of buildings in Qatar that had been lit up to say “Get Well Soon.”

“It’s always nice to receive positive messages like this. Thanks to Qatar for this tribute, and to everyone who sends me good vibes!” he said in his post.

Pelé is widely considered to be one of the greatest soccer players in history. He played in four World Cups, winning three (1958, 1962, 1970) and scoring 12 goals in 14 games. He scored 1,281 goals in his professional career in 1,363 games.

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CNN’s Jill Martin has contributed to this report.

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